LAPD Deputy Chief Blake Chow told reporters on Aug. 17: "The LAPD will not tolerate these acts. We will not stand by idly while these acts continue."
LA Mayor Karen Bass said on the same day that law enforcement agencies across LA County were joining forces to establish a task force aimed at stamping out retail theft. She promised: "If someone commits a crime, we'll catch [them and prosecute them to the] fullest extent of the law."
The announcement of the task force came a day after retail thieves targeted a Gucci store in LA on Aug. 16. The group of 10 brazenly plundered the store in broad daylight, making off with handbags worth $100,000. Earlier on Aug. 12, dozens of people looted a Nordstrom in LA's San Fernando Valley and made off with $300,000 of goods.
High-end stores throughout the City of Angels have been targeted by masked groups who smash through display boxes and grab designer clothes and bags. Video clips posted on social media shows mobs of up to 50 people rampaging through upscale retailers, breaking glass and yanking away goods attached by security cables.
Often, the raids happen in full view of other shoppers too stunned to intervene. Clerks and security guards, meanwhile, are seemingly powerless to prevent them. The video clips of the brazen robberies are cited by conservatives to support their argument that blue cities have an out-of-control crime problem.
Robbery statistics in the area are mixed. The LAPD figures noted a decline in the year-to-date number compared to 2022. However, the LA County Sheriff's Department showed a different number. It recorded an uptick in robberies during the first six months of 2023.
Curtis Jackson, known by his moniker 50 Cent, put in his two cents about the Aug. 12 Nordstrom robbery in an Instagram post. He warned that the City of Angels is "finished" due to the rampant retail theft there.
"I told you LA was finished," he wrote. "They are [going to] have to lock the doors, appointment only." The post from the rapper of "In Da Club" had a screenshot of a news report by KTLA 5 about the incident.
This was not the first time the rap artist criticized LA's situation on Instagram. Back in July, he pointed out that the city's reinstatement of a zero-bail policy would further its collapse. 50 Cent wrote: "LA is finished. Watch how bad it gets out there." (Related: Rapper 50 Cent says LA is FINISHED after reinstatement of zero-bail policy.)
Under the policy, LAPD officers cannot detain suspects accused of misdemeanor crimes. This also extends to theft, shoplifting, drug use, vandalism, battery and other nonviolent crimes.
Moreover, those currently in jail on such charges would also be set free. But a suspect violating the zero-bail schedule is immediately put back in jail on a cash bail system.
This was not the first time the City of Angels implemented such a policy. During the height of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, LA put the zero-bail policy in place to reduce crowding in jails and curb the spread of COVID-19.
LA officials ended the policy in September 2022 as the COVID-19 pandemic waned. However, it was reinstated in May 2023 after LA County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Riff sided with a group of activists who sued the county. The plaintiffs claimed that they had suffered under the cash bail system.
Riff's ruling may have played a part in the proliferation of smash-and-grab crimes in LA, as the culprits no longer fear jail time.
Read more news about the rampant crime in the City of Angels at CaliforniaCollapse.news.
Watch conservative commentator Glenn Beck putting in his two cents on the Aug. 12 theft at the Nordstrom department store in Los Angeles.
This video is from the High Hopes channel on Brighteon.com.